card
239

Aztec Empire

OLogy Series
anthropology
card
239

Aztec Empire

OLogy Series
anthropology

During the 13th and 14th centuries, a group of people called the Aztecs flourished in Mexico. They built an advanced civilization, with art, large cities, and a strong government. Education was very important to the Aztec people. Families educated their children until they were ready to attend school. Kids learned math, history, myths, religion, and the arts. Boys also received military training.

There were strict class divisions in Aztec society. People were nobles (the hioghest class) or commoners. Most people were born:

commoners

nobles

slaves

Are you right?

Correct!

Most people were commoners who supported themselves by farming. Many slaves were captured during war. Others were forced into slavery as punishment for committing crimes.

The Aztecs held elaborate ceremonies and built great temples for their gods. Their religious practices included:

ball games

human sacrifices

both

Are you right?

Correct!

The ball game Ulama had deep religious meaning, and the losers were often killed. Human sacrifice was an important part of the Aztec religion.

The Aztec didn't leave behind any written records.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

The Aztecs developed a system of hieroglyphic writing in which small pictures represented words. They made paper for their writings from fig tree bark.

In Aztec society, there were laws about what kinds of clothes people could wear, depending on their social class.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Nobles usually wore clothes made of cotton dyed with bright colors. Only people of the noble class were allowed to wear gold and feathers.

Capital: Tenochtitlan
Years: 1325-1519
Geography: highlands of modern-day Mexico
Economy: farming, fishing, hunting
Main crops: maize, squash, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, chilies
Currency: none; they traded goods and services
Cool fact: Mexico City is located in the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán.

Image credits: courtesy of AMNH.